Works on Cebu-Bohol bridge may start in 2020
Gregg Rubio (The Freeman) - February 20, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Civil works for the proposed Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge (BCFB) may start in 2020.

This is according to Bohol Second District Representative Erico Aristotle Aumentado during his meeting with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan last week.

Aumentado visited Tungpalan last February 14 to follow up on the funding for the bridge when he was informed that the project feasibility study (FS) will be funded through a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He said that Tungpalan told him that the FS is slated to start this year and is expected to be completed in six to 10 months.  If feasible, the bidding may be scheduled in 2019 and the construction, if viable, in 2020.

Aumentado is confident that the bridge will be feasible due to the several pre-feasibility studies and consultations conducted during the incumbency as governor of his father and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado.

The BCFB, as his father envisioned, will be a 24-kilometer series of bridges and causeways that will link Getafe in Bohol and Cordova in Cebu. It will have several exits along the way to several islands between the two provinces.

The senior Aumentado had nicknamed the structure “three-in-one” bridge as it will also carry cables that will bring more electricity from Cebu province to Bohol. At the same time, a pipeline will also straddle it to bring potable water from Bohol to Cebu.

Presidential Adviser on Legislative Affairs Secretary and former mayor Adelino Sitoy had earlier introduced studies conducted by his consultants incorporating a railway component into the bridge.

This would bolster the string of endorsements the bridge has so far earned.

Aumentado said the BCFB has a soft spot in his heart because it recognizes the efforts of his father. The elder Aumentado has had the project endorsed by the Provincial Development Council (PDC), the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and by the Central Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC).

The study will comprise of pre-engineering work, to be the basis for the preparation of the detailed engineering design (DED).

“I will see to it that this dream of my father will see fruition,” the younger Aumentado said.

At the same time, he expressed gratitude to Tungpalan, President Rodrigo Duterte, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco and NEDA Secretary General Ernesto Pernia for their support.

Barely a week before Aumentado met Tungpalan, he filed on February 6 House Bill No. 7131 which provides for the construction of a concrete bridge connecting Bohol and Cebu to be known as the Bohol-Cebu Multi-Access Friendship Bridge.

Aumentado said the proposed bridge will pave the way to a convenient, safe and reliable mode of land-based transport. This would also reduce travel between the two provinces for commuters as well as domestic and foreign tourists. Prospective workers from Bohol will no longer have to relocate to Cebu they should be employed in the latter province.

“The construction of the bridge will provide enormous positive socio-economic impact to both Bohol and Cebu in terms of economic growth in agro-industrialization, tourism development and job generation. It will also facilitate the provision of social welfare by improving accessibility of medical and hospitalization services,” Aumentado said. (FREEMAN)

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